Two persons associated with a pro-Maoist organization and wearing official press credentials yesterday disrupted the White House welcoming ceremonies for Chinese Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping with shouts denouncing Teng as a "traitor" to the communist cause.
The two, later identified by Secret Service officials as Keith Scott Kozimoto, 28, of New York, and Sonia J. Ransom, 26, of Seattle were dragged away from the crowded press area on the south grounds the White House by Secret Service agents.
Ransom, waving a copy of a red book containing sayings of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the revolutionary Chinese communist leader who died in 1976, shouted, "Teng Hsio-ping, you are a murderer."
Kozimoto, according to witnesses near him on a platform provided for photographers covering the ceremonies, shouted, "You cannot make this a garden party. You cannot stop the revolution. Teng is a traitor."
The brief incident took place about 35 feet from a raised platform where President Carter and Teng stood, facing the press section, reading prepared statements that traditionally mark the beginning of state visits to the White House.
This "is a time when family quarrels are forgotten, a time when visits are made, a time of reunion and reconciliation," Carter was saying when the shouting began.
Secret Service officials said Kozimoto and Ransom were accedited to the Worker Press, an arm of the pro-Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party that opposes China's increased openings to western nations that have been instituted by Teng and other members of the current Chinese leadership.
Kozimoto and Ransom were among 950 journalists accredited by the State Department to cover the Teng visit. They supplied the same background information others were required to provide and were checked against Secret Service files, which showed nothing to suggest they should be denied accreditation, a Secret Service spokesman said yesterday.
"They are members of a working media group who applied for credentials and who had no prior record of this kind of thing," the spokesman said. "So there is no basis to exclude people from covering an event in the United States of America."
The Secret Service routinely checks the Backgrounds of people applying for press credentials to cover the president and other high-ranking officials. Generally, those applying for credentials are asked to supply their date of birth and Social Security number, which are fed into Secret Service computers that contain the namees of about 40,000 people considered risks in one way or another. Neither Kozimoto nor Ransom was listed in the Secret Service files.
Police in Seattle yesterday confirmed that Ransom also has been issued a Seattle police department press pass under the name of Jean Goldberg. There were reports that Kozimoto has a New York City police department press pass, but officials in New York said he was not listed in their 1979 records.
A spokesman for the Workerk Press in Seattle, who said the organization publishes newspapers in several U.S. cities, later issued a statement on the incident.
"Two people disrupted Carter's greeting of Teng," the statement said. "They denounced Teng for the traitor and dog that he is. They upheld Mao, the Chinese Revolution and the Cultural Revolution, waving the red book and distributing leaflets. The Revolutionary Communist Party and the committee (to give a fitting welcome) claim full resposibility and there's more to come."
The incident took place amid heavy security at one of the most crowded White House welcoming ceremonies in recent years. Ransom, who was standing on the ground in front of the photographers' platform, was quickly ushered away with little resistance by four uniformed Secret Service guards.
Kozimoto, who was holding a camera, was dragged from the platform by three guards, one of whom placed his hand over Kozimoto's mouth to muffle his shouts.
Carter continued with his speech, taking no apparent notice of the incident. Teng, who was standing beside and slightly behind the president, also appeared impassive.
Rosalynn Carter, who was also standing on the platform with Teng's wife, Cho Lin, later told reporters that she was "a little bit" frightened by the incident.
"I didn't know how many more there were," she said.
White House press secretary Jody Powell said that after the welcoming ceremony the president told Teng he hoped the incident had not been "disturbing" and that the vice premier replied that "indeed it had not."
Kozimoto and Ransom were charged with diorderly conduct in D.C. Superior Court and released on $100 bond each. Their trials are set for Feb. 16. CAPTION:
Picture, Secret Service guards drag Kozimoto from press area at White House ceremonies. By John McDonnell -- They Washington Post